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J.C. Ramirez to undergo Tommy John Surgery, out 12-18 months

Another one bites the dust.

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

It looks like the Angels have yet another injury to a starting pitcher, and that pitcher is none other than J.C. Ramirez.

Ramirez, 29, was moved to the rotation last year and experienced surprisingly solid initial results. By the time the season was over, his performance stabilized as a reliable yet unspectacular addition to an injury-ravaged Angels rotation, posting 147.1 innings of work across 27 appearances (24 starts) with a 4.15 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 6.41 K/9, and 2.99 BB/9.

A severe velocity downturn in his two 2018 starts thus far indicated a serious injury for Ramirez. His 97.09 mph average on four-seam fastballs last April represented a strength against opposing hitters but that turned into a 93.34 mph this year.

Below are his velocity readings dating back to 2016, per Brooks Baseball.

Brooks Baseball

Ramirez will indubitably miss the 2018 season if not a portion of 2019, too.

Luckily, the Angels have some in-house replacements available, although depth is beginning to wear thin. Pitching prospect and command wizard Jaime Barria will start on Wednesday night, making his MLB debut against the Rangers. The team also has Nick Tropeano in Salt Lake and Andrew Heaney recovering, who are able to start on Thursday and Friday, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Surely, starting pitching depth is a prime concern for the front office to address before it becomes a major detriment to the season’s success.